Just wanted to quickly share a fun party favor bag trick. I used some canvas aprons to make these feed bags, cutting them so I could use the pre-hemmed apron sides as the top of the bag. No hemming for these sausage fingers! That is always a plus in my book. Then I used the apron straps for the feed bag straps. Dana filled the bags with candy corn, edible grass, a toy horse and a carrot — the perfect feed bag for a jockey party.We lined them up for the guests, but unfortunately Crystal Warrior got to a few before we could stop her …
So we’re walking down Valencia Street this weekend Emmeline and I spot this old board game in a hipster antique store.”Do you know what this says?” I ask.”Is that?” she begins, “Is that … Velvet?”Sure is, child, your very own National Velvet horse racing board game.It’s a funny thing, because I would never in a million years buy some new movie-licensed, cross-promotional, mind-sucking board game — “Hop: The Game!” — but show me an Elizabeth Taylor-themed family time fun game from 1961 and apparently I turn to putty. (The game was actually based on the Lori Martin TV show, not the ET movie that we watch endlessly, but who’s keeping track anyway.)We were all pleasantly surprised to see the game had all its original pieces and was in top shape — not bad for seven bucks. It took awhile to read through the rules but it ended up having pretty much the same game play as Candy Land — you simply have to roll dice or spin a spinner (instead of choosing cards) and then move continually onward.Dana won the first game, and Emme and I watched her for a few minutes.”What?” she demanded.”Nothing,” we said.”No, seriously, what?”I shrugged.”I guess we were just waiting for you to fall off your horse and get disqualified.”Just like the movie.On a side note, it was interesting to examine the pieces of the game. The little holders for the steeplechase hedges were solid wood, and the spinner was thick cardboard with a real metal arrow. If this game were manufactured today, Velvet Brown would probably be wearing a Bratz-inspired miniskirt and the pieces would all come from the cheap plastic tree. I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that a game built so well has held up for 50 years. Judging from Emme’s excitement, we’ll be playing it for another 50 and I have a feeling it will look just the same.
So Dana’s in the backyard taking some pictures of new dresses (I’ll post this week) and she notices this hummingbird flitting around nearby. It flipped, danced, hovered and just remained in the general area, which she thought was weird because, hello, big scary human nearby! Dana looked in the fig tree and saw the thing land in this. We are tempted to look inside for eggs, just to see how incredibly tiny they must be, but my guess is we’ll just let them all be and wait. We are all incredibly excited to see any babies emerge this spring.
Emmeline and I had a blast making a new toy, and we’ve spent the past week playing like crazy fools with the finished product. It’s a simple throwback balance board — just a scrap of any old wood and a tube underneath it. (Inspiration and better instructions here.)This toy really hit the sweet spot for me — a convergence of crafty, home made, easy, anti-commercialized and just plain fun. Plus, it’s actually difficult to master and it involves some falling (not nearly as much as I had hoped for, to be honest — it’s good for the soul to fall and get up again). This is the perfect rainy day craft and physical activity.All told, it took about an hour or so to make, from finding the wood, breaking out the circular saw and taping it all up. We used a scrap piece of wood from a bookshelf Emme and I are making, as well as a 10-inch piece of PVC pipe and a lot of duct tape. (I took Emme to the hardware store for the tape, letting her pick her favorite colors.) I simply cut tape strips and let her place them in any configuration she wanted. I should note that it’s best to tape over all the edges, maybe even twice. If you don’t the wood will cut into the carpet — not fun.But pretty much all you need is wood, a tube and some tape.And a lot of practice ….
I’ll give you one guess: Who was super excited to go play soccer in the rain and mud?I was impressed with her soccer coach for holding practice in the light drizzle. I was expecting the league to call off practices, but the coach said real soccer players had to suck it up and play no matter the conditions. Word.